Cyclone winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour and heavy downpours brought life to a standstill, before the storm moved on towards Reunion island.
Mbabane: Tropical Cyclone Batsirai is fast approaching the East Coast of Southern Africa and Eswatini appears to be in its path according to models predicted by Meteorologists.
Batsirai has already passed within 130 kilometres of Mauritius, 230 kilometres to the east of Reunion Island, leaving thousands of homes without power, though without inflicting major damage.
Cyclone winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour and heavy downpours brought life to a standstill, before the storm moved on towards Reunion Island.
The cyclone is expected to make landfall on the east coast of Madagascar around February 05, 2022 with potentially still some power after passing by Mauritius and Reunion. Tropical Cyclone Batsirai has intensified and is now moving west/west-south-west at about 19 kilometres an hour (km/h).
The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System says Batsirai has been upgraded and classified as Category 4. The joint United Nations and the European Union Commission project, says the cyclone’s wind speed had increased to 231 kilometres per hour on Wednesday morning. In the Mozambique channel, after a significant weakening following its passage over land, the system could again develop under fairly favourable conditions at least until Monday. However, in the longer term the environmental conditions should limit the intensity of the system as it plunges towards the Southern latitudes.
Batsirai follows the moderate Tropical Storm Ana that formed a week earlier. The system brought winds, heavy rains, damage and destruction to parts of Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, affecting several hundred thousand people.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) late last year warned that Africa would face challenges including intense cyclones in the coming decades, noting that “the rates of sea level rise along the tropical and south Atlantic coasts and Indian Ocean are higher than the global mean rate.”
The WMO says the 2022 cyclone season in the Indian Ocean is expected to end in April.